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LETTER AUGUST 2018
www.OctoberKitchen.com | 860-533-0588 | 309 Green Rd., Manchester, CT 06042 YOU’RE NOT ALONE
Meet the Men Behind Your Meals
How to Win the Fight Against Loneliness T he biggest warning sign of premature death isn’t heart disease, smoking or obesity; it’s a lack of strong social bonds.
This bond goes both ways. I know our drivers become genuinely invested in the people they serve. I remember one time when a driver was
“Loneliness is a strong predictor of premature death, worse mental health and lower quality of life in patients with cardiovascular disease and a much stronger predictor than living alone, in both men and women,” reads the report of a team of Danish researchers presented at the European Society of Cardiology’s annual nursing conference this spring. Human beings rely heavily on our connections with one another. When we no longer have those connections, our physical and mental health can suffer. This kind of thing really hits home with me. I often think about my dad and how his last couple of years were spent pretty isolated. His friends had dwindled and I think he felt a little lonely. This is something we tend to see a lot with our customers at October Kitchen too. Many people we work with are seniors who can’t leave their house as often as they used to. Or maybe, with their friends long gone and family living far away, they don’t have a reason to leave their house. One thing I’m really proud of is how our drivers make an effort to ensure our customers have those social bonds. We encourage our drivers to make friends with the customers on their route and spend some time chatting with them on deliveries. I have had so many people tell me how nice our drivers are and how much they look forward to the brief visits they make to drop off meals. Our drivers are like a cross between Santa Claus and the Candy Man!
One of our drivers, Albert.
making a delivery, he noticed how the woman he was talking to didn’t look so great. When he came back to the kitchen, he said, “Hey, Mrs. So-and-So looks like she needs some help.” We called the customer’s family and let them know their grandmother could use some company. During the next delivery, she was back to her old self. When I say our mission is to help nourish people, I’m not just talking about providing good meals. October Kitchen is a whole lot more than food. We want to help nourish people’s spirits and make sure they know there’s someone who cares about them and is checking up on them regularly. It can be easy for people who work with seniors to only worry about their physical health — whether they are taking their medication or making their doctors’ appointments — but we also need to check in on a person’s social bonds in order to help them really be healthy. It doesn’t take a lot to show this care. Sharing your time, offering to help with some task or sitting down to have a genuine conversation can make all the difference in the world. Feeling like you belong and are cared for goes a long way toward slowing the sand running through that hourglass.
“When I say our mission is to help nourish people, I’m not just talking about providing good meals.”
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